Take a hike with regional club
The Otzinachson Regional Group of the Sierra Club and the Edward Abbey Hiking Society will hold a number of hikes throughout the region. They are open to the public, but hikers should contact the hike leader prior to the event. Participants are advised to bring lunch and water on every hike.
Hikes will be held:
Today - R.B. Winter State Park and Bald Eagle State Forest, Union County. Hike a variety of strenuous trails to make a 12-mile loop. Meet at the parking lot at the breast of the dam along Route 192 at 8:30 a.m. Register with Joe Rebar at 570-259-0134.
Saturday - Loyalsock Trail, Sullivan County. Hike 6 1/2 miles from Sones Pond to the end of the trail on Route 220 via the Haystacks in an easy to moderate expedition. Meet at 8:30 a.m. at the McDonald's in Hughesville. Register with Roy Fontaine at 570-220-4707.
April 6 - Sones Pond and Haystacks, Loyalsock Trail, Sullivan County. Hike 12.5 strenuous miles from the end of the trail on Route 220 to Sones Pond, then circle around and return to the parking lot on Route 220 via the Haystacks. Meet 8:30 a.m. at the McDonald's in Hughesville. Register with Tony Robbins at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alpine Club sets annual dinner, meeting
The Alpine Club of Williamsport will hold its annual tureen dinner and club meeting at 5:30 tonight. Call Helen at 570-326-5644 for details and location.
Hunter education course offered
ANTES FORT - A hunter-trapper education course will be held from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Monday and Tuesday at the Northcentral Office of the state Game Commission, 1566 Route 44
Students must attend both days and pass the course test to receive a certification card.
Register on the Game Commission website under "Hunter-Trapper Education." Students should study Chapters 1, 4, 5 and 9 from the online manual prior to the class.
For more information, call Max Farley at 570-337-8750.
Groups organize Earth Month Celebration
The "Caring for Communities" series, sponsored by the Merrill W. Linn Land and Waterways Conservancy and the Buffalo Creek Watershed Alliance, will kick off in April.
The annual series of family friendly events engages people in learning about and gaining appreciation for the local natural environment.
Events in wetland explorations, owl prowls, star gazing, canoeing/kayaking, bicycle rides, wildflower walks and more are planned.
Everyone is welcome and most events are free.
For complete schedule of events, visit www.LinnConservancy.org.
Get answers to your coyote questions
HAWLEY - Are you curious about coyotes? Get your questions answered at 2 p.m. Saturday during a presentation and discussion at PPL's Lake Wallenpaupack.
In the 1970s, the Pocono Mountains had the highest population of coyotes in the state. The free presentation will cover how they got here and why we have them, basic biology and genealogy, fears and controls.
Presenter Ron Tussel, an instructor with the state Game Commission and local outdoor writer, will teach attendees how to identify them by showing a coyote mount, skull and teeth.
Registration is not required. For details call Jenna Wayne of PPL at 570-253-7001 or email email@example.com.
For directions, visit www.pplpreserves.com, select Lake Wallenpaupack, then click Contacts and Directions.
Learn how to boat safely
DANVILLE - Get ready for the boating season from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday with Eric and Kathy Mitcheltree, of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary. The course meets Pennsylvania's requirements for formal instruction to operate a motorboat.
The Mitcheltrees will cover an introduction to the types and uses of boats, boating laws, personal safety equipment, safe boat handling, navigation, boating problems and much more. The course will include a test and application for certification.
There is a $10 fee per participants and a $10 fee per book (only one is required per family) that will be collected the day of the course. Bring a bag lunch.
To register, call 570-204-2033 with the names and phone numbers of participants.
The free program will meet at Montour Preserve's Environmental Education Center. For directions, visit www.pplpreserves.com, select Montour and then click on Contacts and Directions. For more information, contact the preserve at 570-437-3131 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mineralogical society plans day for kids
PLEASANT GAP - The Nittany Mineralogical Society will hold its annual Minerals Junior Education Day on Saturday at the Central Pennsylvania Institute of Science and Technology, 540 N. Harrison Road, in Centre County.
Registration is required in advance by emailing email@example.com or calling 814-234-4532. Parents should indicate their desired starting time slot and the names and addresses of the children in grades one through eight who will attend.
Starting time slots are 9:30, 9:45, 10, 10:30, 11 and 11:30 a.m. as well as noon, 12:30 and 1 p.m. Registration is limited.
The event will give students a chance to learn about minerals, crystals, gems and fossils and to take home several samples. Stations will be set up on the following topics: gold panning, gemstone identification, invertebrate fossils (shells), vertebrate fossils (bones), bedrock geology of Pennsylvania and fluorescence (glow in the dark).
The cost is $5 per child. Parents may attend for free.
Indoor fishing derby scheduled
JERSEY SHORE - Independent Hose Co. No. 1, 130 S. Pennsylvania Ave., will hold its fifth annual Indoor Fishing Derby at 11 a.m. Saturday. Fishing starts at noon and ends at 4 p.m.
Age groups are infant to 6-year-olds and 7- to 12-year-olds.
Fishing equipment and bait will be supplied. A $10 donation enables anglers to fish all day.
Anglers can keep what they catch or put them back into the tank. Those who catch tagged fish will win a gift bag.
Games and food will be available all day.
For more information, call 570-398-0531.
Learn about native Pennsylvania plants
EBENSBURG - The Allegheny Mountain Woodland Association hold a public program titled "Native Pennsylvania Plants for Every Garden & Every Season" from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday at the Ebensburg Borough Building, 300 W. High St.
Dr. Eric Burkhart will offer a few of his top plant choices for Pennsylvania gardeners interested in integrating native plants into the landscape. For each plant, identification, cultivars, cultural requirements, ecological value and propagation methods will be reviewed. He also will present tips and ideas, drawing from his own home landscape experiments, on how to convert landscapes into native plant gardens.
Burkhart is the plant science program director for Shaver's Creek Environmental Center and teaches courses for the Penn State Ecosystem Science and Management Department.
A fee of $10 for association members and $15 for nonmembers applies. Advance registration reserves a spot but is not required.
To register or for more details, call 814-472-8560 or visit www.amwa.treesofpa.com.
Seven Mountains Audubon plans free field trip
LEWISBURG - The Seven Mountains Audubon will hold a free field trip at 7:30 a.m. Saturday. Attendees should meet at the CVS side parking lot on Route 192, just west of Route 15. Everyone is welcome.
The group goes somewhere different each month, with a different leader each month. They do not decide where they are going until a day or two before because the decision is made on local sightings.
In March, the group went to a farm near Washingtonville and saw a snowy owl.
For more information, call 570-837-3377.
Alpine Club announces trail care hikes
The Alpine Club of Williamsport seeks volunteers to help clear the Loyalsock Trail's footpath, trim limbs and check blazes. The club will hold trail care hikes on the following dates:
April 6 - Little Bear Road to Painter Run area and side trails
April 27 - Painter Run area to Shingle Run area plus distance to work on trail
May 4 - High Knob area
May 18 - Rain date
Volunteers should bring lunch, water, gloves, loppers, bow or folding saws and hammers. Some equipment will be provided.
Call Ruth Rode at 570-322-5878 to sign up or if you have questions or want to work on the trail at your convenience.
Boating safety course planned
HUGHESVILLE - The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary in Williamsport, Flotilla 15-01, will offer a boating safety course from 5 to 9 p.m. April 8 and 10 at the Hughesville Area Public Library, 146 S. Fifth St.
A fee will cover the cost of materials.
Participants will receive a boating certificate from the auxiliary if they attend both sessions and will qualify for the state boating certificate upon successful completion of the course.
People who want to operate a personal watercraft (jet ski) or who were born after Jan. 1, 1982, and want to operate a boat with a 25 horsepower or larger motor are required by law to have successfully completed a recognized boating course.
For more information or to enroll, call Flotilla Commander Robert Brown at 570-368-1884 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hunter-trapper education classes set
MUNCY VALLEY - Free hunter-trapper education classes will be held at the North Mountain Sportsmen's Association Club on the following dates:
6 to 9:30 p.m. April 11 and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 12
6 to 9:30 p.m. July 11 and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. July 12
6 to 9:30 p.m. Aug. 15 and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 16
Independent study classes from 6 to 9 p.m. Sept. 26 and Oct. 3.
Individuals who are at least 11 years old may register on the state Game Commission website for any of these classes. Attendance at the entire program is required to receive a certification card.
For more information, call Rick Smith at 570-924-3072 or email email@example.com.
Elk alliance chapter plans banquet
MILL HALL - The Clinton County Chapter of the Keystone Elk Country Alliance will hold its third annual fundraising banquet on April 12 at Haywoods on the Green.
Raffles, games and auctions will be held throughout the evening and prizes include firearms, jewelry, wildlife art, home furnishings, accessories, outdoor recreation items and cash.
Tickets may be purchased by contacting Lisa Lindsey at 570-249-0411 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Keystone Elk Country Alliance has enhanced 1,400 acres of wildlife habitat in the elk range, educated more than 12,000 school children and welcomed more than 850,000 people to the Elk Country Visitor Center in Benezette, teaching them about elk, wildlife and natural resources.
Last year, it brought back the annual Elk Expo and celebrated the 100th anniversary of the elk reintroduction into the state. This year, construction on an outdoor education pavilion at the visitor center will begin.
Learn how to be a better birder
DANVILLE - Jon D. Beam, a naturalist at PPL's Montour Preserve, 700 Preserve Road, will lead a workshop titled "Better Birding" from 9:30 to 11 a.m. April 12 in the preserve's Environmental Education Center.
Field marks certainly are helpful in identifying one bird species from another. Many field guides rely heavily on these features to identify birds. But, this only is one part of putting a name to a bird. Other hints and clues should be integrated to make an identification.
Attendees will develop bird observation skills and learn what to look for before turning to a field guide to identification help. This holistic approach to birding looks at the whole picture first before examining the finer details.
The program will provide useful skills for both beginning and more advanced birders. Bring binoculars if you have them.
Tour wetlands in Montandon
MONTANDON - The Merrill W. Linn Land & Waterways Conservancy is organizing a walk at the Montandon wetlands at 10 a.m. April 12.
Led by Bucknell University professors and Tony Markunas III, of Central Builders Supply, the walk will extend on trails deep into the marsh area; rubber boots are advised.
Meet at the Central Builders' sand plant off Route 45, 0.3 miles east of Route 405 and the Lewisburg bridge.
See the countryside via bicycle
LEWISBURG - A Caring for Communities bicycle ride will be held at 1 p.m. April 13 along the Buffalo Valley Rail Trail in Union County.
It will be led by biking enthusiast Tom Gibson. Routes will be available for two levels of experience - 15 miles and 30 miles.
Park at the lot adjacent to the Dale/Engle/Walker House and meet for departure at the Dale's Ridge Trail parking lot. The Dale/Engle/Walker property is at 1471 Strawbridge Road, off Route 192, 1.7 miles west of Lewisburg.
The ride is sponsored by the Merrill Linn Conservancy as part of its celebration of Caring for Communities Earth Month.
Stroll under the full moon
LEWISBURG - The Buffalo Valley Recreation Authority is organizing a moon walk on April 15 on the Buffalo Valley Rail Trail. An instructor from Bucknell or Bloomsburg universities may be on hand to shed some light on what attendees are, or aren't, seeing.
For details, call 570-524-4774.
Discover owls and stars
LEWISBURG - The Merrill W. Linn Land & Waterways Conservancy is organizing an owl prowl and astronomy night on April 19.
The owl walk, led by Joe Southerton, a Mifflinburg teacher, begins at 7:30 p.m. and is followed by astronomy observing at 8:30, led by Bucknell University astronomers.
Meet at the Dale's Ridge Trail parking lot for the owl prowl and at the Dale/Engle/Walker House for the stargazing.
Learn about trees and take a walk
LEWISBURG - The Merrill W. Linn Land & Waterways Conservancy will hold a tree walk at 6 p.m. April 25.
Attendees will learn about notable trees in downtown Lewisburg. Meet at Hufnagle Park.
Annual creek cleanup announced
MONTGOMERY - The Great Black Hole Creek Cleanup will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 26, starting at Hulsizer's Chevrolet on Main Street.
Gloves and bags will be provided. Litter also will be cleaned up along Route 54.
Lunch will be provided after the cleanup.
For more information, call Becky Sanguedolce at 570-547-6289
Outdoor events sought
Do you have a meeting or outdoor event you'd like to publicize in the Sun-Gazette?
Announcements must be submitted at least three weeks prior to the date of the event, preferably earlier.
Information and news releases may be:
Mailed to Outdoor editor, Williamsport Sun-Gazette, 252 W. Fourth St., Williamsport PA 17701
Emailed to email@example.com
Dropped off at the Sun-Gazette office, 252 W. Fourth St., Williamsport
Submitted through the Outdoor section of the Virtual Newsroom on the paper's website, www.sungazette.com.
All submissions must contain the name, telephone number and, if available, email address of a contact person.
News releases submitted in ALL CAPITAL LETTERS will not be accepted.
Photographs by area residents of trophy fish or game animals or other interesting outdoor occurrences also will be considered. Digital photos may be sent by email.
Hard-copy glossy prints, negatives or slides may be dropped off or mailed. Polaroid prints typically cannot be reprinted in the newspaper.
Only photos sent with a stamped, self-addressed envelope will be returned.
Announcements published in the "Outdoor Briefs" section will print in chronological order as space permits.
The Outdoors section is published weekly on Sundays, but it goes to print early on Wednesday mornings.
Therefore, all information for publication on any given Sunday must be submitted by noon on the Monday prior.
For more help, call 570-326-1551, ext. 3116.